North Korean vessel threatens Japanese fishing boat, chases it through Tokyo territory

North Korean vessel threatens Japanese fishing boat, chases it through Tokyo territory
North Korean soldiers ride on a boat used as a local ferry as they cross the Yalu river. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

 

A Japanese fishing boat was forced to flee after a North Korean ship was discovered in waters considered part of Tokyo’s economic zone. The North Korean vessel chased the Japanese boat for 10 minutes, according to reports. Crew aboard the Japanese boat say the North Korean ship was there illegally fishing for squid.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga gave details of the event at a news conference, AP reports. He said the incident occurred on July 14, 310 miles off Japan’s north coast. The area is considered a lucrative fishing area and Japan’s authorities regularly patrol the area for illegal activity.

Japan filed a complaint with the North Korean embassy in Beijing. Suga refused to discuss why the vessel was in Japan’s waters and what its intentions were in chasing away the Japanese vessel. He only mentioned its illegality.

Having more details about whether an armed North Korean ship was doing more in Japanese territory beyond simply fishing for squid would answer questions on if the action was related to spiking tensions in the region.

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